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PlayStation Boss Comments on Starfield Xbox Exclusivity – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

PlayStation Boss Comments on Starfield Xbox Exclusivity



In a surprising statement made during a United States federal trial to determine the legality of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said that he does not view the Xbox console exclusivity of Starfield as “anti-competitive.” The trial has been focused on the potential exclusivity of the Call of Duty franchise. Ryan stated that the exclusivity of a major release like Starfield may sway some opinions on how impactful Call of Duty exclusivity might be.

The ongoing trial between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission regulatory body is with regard to the FTC’s effort to impose a “preliminary injunction” on the acquisition, which could delay the completion of the acquisition until an FTC review completes. Ryan’s testimony stemmed from this trial. To pass this date without Microsoft getting a judge’s ruling is believed to be the FTC’s goal, given past struggles to stop mergers in court.

During the trial, Ryan was asked if Xbox’s decision to make Starfield, a game from the recently acquired Bethesda Game Studios, exclusive was anti-competitive. Ryan responded, saying he has no quarrel with it and added that he does not view it as anti-competitive.

Bethesda Game Studios’ titles are major releases. Its two most recent games, Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, have sold over 12 million and 30 million copies, respectively. If Ryan is comfortable with Starfield being exclusive, then it might be hypocritical to say Call of Duty exclusivity on Xbox would be anti-competitive. However, the comparison isn’t quite fair as the Call of Duty franchise creates massive levels of engagement online, resulting in increased PlayStation Plus subscriptions, microtransactions, and more players spending time on PlayStation in general.

The situation is significantly more complicated than can be summed up in one statement by Jim Ryan or another. There are still two more days of testimony scheduled before a decision is made in the ongoing trial between Microsoft and the FTC.

Starfield is set to launch on September 6 on PC and Xbox Series X/S.

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan says that he doesn’t believe Starfield‘s Xbox console exclusivity is “anti-competitive,” in a surprising admission. Ryan recently provided testimony as part of a United States federal trial to determine the legality of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The potential exclusivity of the Call of Duty franchise has been a major focus in regulator analysis of the acquisition. Ryan stated that exclusivity of a major release like Starfield may sway some opinions on how impactful Call of Duty exclusivity might be.


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Ryan’s testimony stems from an ongoing trial between Microsoft and the Federal Trade Commission regulatory body. The trial is with regard to the FTC’s effort to impose a “preliminary injunction” on the acquisition, a strategic legal effort that would delay the completion of the acquisition until an FTC review completes. The injunction could effectively kill the acquisition, as the agreement has a date by which it must be completed barring a renegotiation. To pass this date without Microsoft getting a judge’s ruling is believed to be the FTC’s goal, given past struggles to stop mergers in court.

RELATED: Lawyers Claim to Have Proof Activision Blizzard Deal Is to Put PlayStation Out of Business

Jim Ryan took to the stand on day three of the trial and was asked a variety of questions regarding PlayStation, its relationship with Activision and Xbox, and the Call of Duty franchise. One of those questions was especially interesting to hear. Ryan was asked if Xbox’s decision to make Starfielda game from the recently acquired Bethesda Game Studios, exclusive was anti-competitive. Ryan responded, saying he has no quarrel with it, adding, “I don’t like it, but I don’t view it as anti-competitive.”

starfield spaceship concept art

What makes this comment so intriguing is that Bethesda Game Studios’ titles are major releases. Its two most recent games, Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrimhave sold over 12 million and 30 million, respectively. Those are comparable to Call of Duty titles. If Ryan is comfortable with Starfield being exclusive, then it might be hypocritical to say Call of Duty exclusivity on Xbox would be anti-competitive.

The comparison isn’t quite fair, of course. Bethesda Game Studios makes single-player titles. The Call of Duty franchise not only sells millions of copies of games but creates massive levels of engagement online. That results in increased PlayStation Plus subscriptions, microtransactions, and just more players spending time on PlayStation in general.

Needless to say, the situation is significantly more complicated than can be summed up in one Jim Ryan statement or another. Call of Duty isn’t even necessarily the real heart of the issue with the acquisition. Ryan was previously quoted as saying he’s not interested in a new Call of Duty deal, after all, he just wants to block the Activision Blizzard merger. There are still two more days of testimony scheduled before a decision is made in the ongoing trial between Microsoft and the FTC.

Starfield launches September 6 on PC and Xbox Series X/S.

MORE: Starfield May Be ‘Skyrim in Space,’ But TES 6 Shouldn’t Be ‘Skyrim in Hammerfell’

Source: IGN

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